New Tumor Treatment For East Texas Patients - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/12/06-Tyler

New Tumor Treatment For East Texas Patients

The four million dollar investment delivers high dose radiation using a multi-jointed robotic arm. 

"A lot of patients were leaving East Texas to go to Dallas or Fort Worth for this treatment and they won't have to now," says Dr. Thomas Grahm, neurosurgeon with Tyler Neurological Associates.

The virtual demonstration shows how x-rays are taken to locate the tumor. Radiation beams attack the tumor with pinpoint accuracy.

It can treat tumors once difficult to get to surgically, in the brain, chest, spine or abdomen. Patients can be wide awake during the procedure.

"It knows if the patient has moved its head a little bit, up, down, sideways, and will compensate for that on the fly," says Dr. James Kalker, Radiation Oncologist for ETMC Cancer Institute.

For brain tumor patients it's a far contrast to what they had to go through before.

"The patients had to be in what we call a frame. It was a head frame that had to be screwed to the skull," explains Dr. Grahm.

That procedure would take more than 12 hours before treatment is complete. Total treatment time under the CyberKnife, as little as 45 minutes.

"We were so happy to get this coming here.  This is going to be really good for East Texas," says Dr. Grahm.

ETMC partnered with Tyler Neurological Associates to get the machine.

They'll treat a patient for the first time using the CyberKnife next month.

Click here for more information on the CyberKnife.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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